Advanced Chapter Books for Elementary Readers
By Mary Montero
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It’s the best feeling when you have a stack of book returns for the library. The pile of books gives me hope that many of my students will continue on as lifelong readers.
With that joy of reading, however, can come the challenge of getting a great book in each students’ hands. Classrooms are filled with a myriad of readers ranging in interests and abilities. You may not be sure what to recommend to a student or where to begin on your search for a great book.
I am going to share advanced chapter books that you can recommend to your higher-level readers in second through fourth grade. Each of these books are at a higher reading level and vary in topic, so you can find the right book for your student’s needs. Not sure if a book is right for your classroom? Read this blog post for tips are how to select books for your students.
Advanced Chapter Book Recommendations
Each title includes an Amazon affiliate link.
The Alchemyst by Michael Scott
Lexile Level: 870L
Nicholas Flamel is said to have died in 1418, but his tomb is empty and he is very much alive. Nicholas discovered the secret to eternal life, which he keeps securely hidden in a book. This secret could destroy the world. Too bad Dr. John Dee has just stolen the book…
Nancy Drew Series by Carolen Keene
Lexile Level: typically around 720L
Nancy Drew is a teenage sleuth always hoping to solve a mystery. Throughout several tales, Nancy is confronted with some perplexing problems. She escapes kidnapping, locates a missing pilot, uncovers hidden treasure, and much more inside the series.
The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl by Stacy McAnulty
Lexile Level: 530L
You might think getting struck by lightning is bad, but not for Lucy Callahan. When she was struck by lightning, she gained genius-level math skills. Her brain is ready for college, but she’s still only 12 years old. Lucy’s grandmother makes a deal with her: survive one year in middle school, and then you can go back to homeschooling. That’s not hard, right?
King and the Dragonflies by Kacen Callender
Lexile Level: 830L
Genre: Realistic Fiction
When Kingston James’ brother, Kahlid, dies, he is sure his brother has turned into a dragonfly. He searches for his brother, as a dragonfly, each day as he sits at the bayou. As he thinks about his brother, one memory sticks in his mind: when Khalid asked him to stop hanging out with his best friend, Sandy, because he is gay. Something doesn’t feel right to Kingston, and he has to find out why.
Building Zaha by Victoria Tentler-Krylov
Lexile Level: 890L
This biography depicts the life of Zaha Hadid, an architect from Baghdad. Zaha always knew she wanted to be an architect, but the path wasn’t easy. She was a woman of color in a predominately white, male field. Zaha learns to persist, even when the odds are stacked against her. This story is told in a picture book-like format.
The Wild Robot by Peter Brown
Lexile Level: 720L
Genre: Science Fiction
Robot Roz wakes up on a deserted island, alone. She isn’t sure what she is doing here or how she even got here. However, she knows she must learn how to survive. Slowly, Robot Roz begins to adapt to the wilderness and feel comfortable in her surroundings. Right as she feels comfortable though, her past comes back to haunt her…
More Chapter Book Resources
If you want more ideas for engaging novels for elementary classrooms, read this blog post with more must-read novels for upper elementary. It also includes ideas for reading response activities, task cards, and book projects!
You can also read this post for engaging novel projects that can be used with nearly ANY book!
I’m so glad you are here. I’m a current gifted and talented teacher in a small town in Colorado, and I’ve been in education since 2009. My passion (other than my family and cookies) is for making teachers’ lives easier and classrooms more engaging.